The one thing you should never do if you are over 40 and want to stay healthy

By | February 23, 2024

Female doctor reassuring a patient

Sorry, millennials: we’re getting older. Normally, the 40-year-old life sign sneaks up on us because we’re so busy doing and focusing on other things (read: kids, a pandemic, and the list goes on). But as we get older, our health problems change and in many contexts they become more severe.

Here’s what doctors say you absolutely need to do never do this once and after you turn 40 if you want to stay healthy and feel younger than your years.

Related: The No. 1 Unexpected Secret a Geriatrician Wants You to Know About ‘Blue Zones’

The one thing you should never do if you are over 40 and want to stay healthy

Here’s the one thing almost all doctors agree on when it comes to maintaining your long-term health: do not skip your annual physicals.

“Since all people are different and they have individual perspectives on their health, it is impossible to identify one item that everyone should focus on to stay healthy.” Dr. David Cutler, MD, says a board-certified family physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “But there is one thing everyone should do regularly after they turn 40 to protect their health as much as possible: get a routine preventive check-up with their GP.”

“As a physician who specializes in internal, geriatric and palliative medicine, the importance of an annual checkup becomes even more important as you get older.” Dr. Elizabeth Landsverk, MDtells Procession.

Related: The #1 Habit That Can Reduce Your Biological Age, According to a Geriatrician

If part of skipping annual physicals is that you haven’t found a doctor you click with, keep looking.

“One of the most important keys to maintaining excellent health care is having a good and caring primary care physician in your corner,” says Dr. Landsverk. “And don’t be afraid to go to the doctor. While nurses can be very helpful, they don’t have the same training as doctors to fully understand disease processes and risks, although they may be more approachable and can point you in the right direction. Personal “It took me four years and four different ear, nose and throat specialists before I finally found the one who could surgically correct my sinusitis (the ‘solution’ the others suggested was to prescribe antibiotics, which didn’t work).”

Read on for more no-nos for the over-40 set.

Related: The One Thing You Should Never Do When You’re Over 50, According to a Geriatrician

6 Other Health Tips If You’re Over 40

1. Act your age

An important key to staying healthy is not to deny your age. All the tretinoin in the world can keep your face youthful (more power to you!), but everywhere else you’re still aging.

“When people reach the age of 40, most find it difficult to believe that they have reached ‘middle age,’” says Dr. Cutler. “They generally feel young and healthy. But the reality is that 40 is mid-80s, and the degenerative process of aging has already begun. Although many diets and activities are being measured to slow aging, we are still haven’t figured out how to stop aging completely.”

Related: The one thing you should never do if you want to live to be 100, according to geriatricians

2. Don’t wait until the ‘doorknob moment’ to ask your doctor questions

A big part of your annual physical activity should involve asking your doctor questions about your overall health — and you shouldn’t put it off until your doctor is on his way. Dr. Landsverk recommends asking the following depending on your specific concerns:

  • How can I sleep through the night without interruptions?

  • How can I relieve my stress?

  • What lifestyle changes can improve my life?

  • How does my family’s medical history affect my future?

  • Do the combinations of medications I use have unwanted effects?

  • Are there ways to treat my condition without taking medication?

  • Will the over-the-counter medications I take adversely affect my health? Can they interfere with my prescribed medications?

  • How can I relieve my pain?

  • I like my nightly cocktails at the end of the work day…is that a problem?

  • How much to drink is too much?

  • Do you have any suggestions on what type of exercise program I should follow?

Related: The One Food You Should Eat Every Day If You Want to Live to 100

3. Don’t skip vaccines and boosters

While you are at your annual physical, ask your doctor to keep you up to date on your injections.

“There is no greater medical intervention in history that has contributed more to better health, reduced disease and delayed death than vaccines,” says Dr. Cutler. “COVID and flu vaccines are two obvious and timely examples, but travel vaccines such as hepatitis A and yellow fever can also be addressed.”

Dr. Landsverk also points out that COVID has been linked to an increased risk of dementia, which will obviously become an increasing problem as you get older.

Related: Do You Really Need an Annual COVID Booster?

4. Don’t forget COVID

Dr. Landsverk emphasized the importance of patients protecting themselves from the ongoing risks of COVID-19, noting: “Especially as we get older, getting COVID can be particularly concerning when you consider that COVID increases inflammation of the brain, which can lead to more inflammation in the brain. increase the risk of dementia and cause problems for your heart, lungs, kidneys, nerves, etc. You might think of it as permanent scarring for which there is no cure: once damaged, damaged forever.”

Related: The No. 1 sign someone is aging well, according to a geriatrician

5. Don’t skip your colon cancer or breast cancer screenings

More and more people are being diagnosed with colon cancer at a younger age, making it increasingly important to be examined regularly. According to Dr. Landsverk, it is especially important to talk to your doctor about the risk of colon cancer if you have a family history of the disease. And if you are a woman, don’t forget that you should have an annual mammogram starting at age 40!

Related: One thing colon cancer doctors say you should never do

6. Don’t mess with your heart

We’re not talking about avoiding Tinder dates. We’re talking about your heart health. Dr. Landsverk says that sticking to a plant-based diet and exercising for half an hour a day is one of the best things you can do for your cardiovascular health, and that at age 40 you won’t have time to put it off. .

“Doing this will reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and dementia by 50%,” she says. “While taking a multivitamin daily may provide some benefit, we do know that vitamin D helps strengthen bones and vitamin B12 helps with nerves. As for expensive supplements that make bombastic claims, there is no scientific evidence that they provide any substantial provide health benefits.” benefits and remember: the FDA does not regulate this industry.”

Next up, the #1 anti-inflammatory food you should eat every day if you want to live to be 100

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